Pharmacies have struggled to keep up with the demand for self-tests. | Pere Bota

The IB-Salut health service and College of Pharmacists in the Balearics are finalising arrangements for a procedure whereby pharmacists will be able to initiate sick leave requests for people testing positive with Covid.

Anyone who performs an antigen self-test at home, which returns positive, currently has to have this validated by a health service PCR before the sick leave process can be started. Because of sheer numbers of people, this is one reason why primary care is coming under the pressure that it is at present.

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In Catalonia, there already is involvement of pharmacies, and it is this model which will be followed in the Balearics. The fact that people do not have to wait for a PCR will speed up the whole process.

This will be a further step in the self-management of Covid positives, which are very high but are also - in the great majority of cases - asymptomatic or mild.